[SOLVED] Not a single trace of an uninstalled game

Dasa

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I uninstalled a 85 GB game from Epic last night and turned off PC immediately, had a change of heart and the first thing I did when I turned on the PC the second day was use recovery software to recover it but I found no trace, why is that? why some folders and files stay there in your face even if you write over it you could still see it was there (maybe in an unrecoverable state) and this game has zero trace ? I searched the folder itself and recycle bin, nothing as if it did not exist, there was no time for anything to overwrite it of course.

I have SSD if makes any difference but still some old things are there to recover after so many days and writes
 

Lutfij

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The story with data recovery is that your mileage can and will vary. Often times you're going to find things from years ago while some things aren't found or are found but in a partial state.

If the game was downloaded off the internet, why not download it again...? It certainly would be much more resource efficient than having a data recovery app scrub the drive for older files.

For an SSD, I'd ask to keep data recovery apps away from it since it will degrade the drive faster. Only run said app if it meant recovering your life's work/portfolio or your resume.

You forgot to mention the name of the recovery app.
 
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Dasa

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Is there a reason why my mileage may vary?
I mean not a single trace of 85 GB! and you could say since I turned off PC it had not time to disappear like this, and I still see other games deleted waaaay back, does the Epic use magic to uninstall games lol weird!

I have a very limited internet quota, I need two months quota to download it again.

The software is recuva.
 

Dasa

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Some SSD's "maculate"(as in completely wipes it with trash bits) data on deletion as with some SSD's having encryption.
That is not the case I guess because when I try to secure delete my files with one time overwrite it takes long, as long as it takes transferring a file or making a second copy, since it's 85GB I would notice that, also other things deleted on my PC is still there, it's not like recovery scan of SSD brings up nothing, it brings up a lot of things :unsure:

Edit:The uninstall took seconds only
 

madmatt30

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To be honest at recuva struggles with complete file/folder structure recovery.

Its not bad for finding deleted files where folder structure etc doesn't matter but even if it had managed to find the majority of the files in that game directory the chances of it actually working are slim.

You also shouldn't try and recover to the same drive, that's a surefire way to mess things up anyway
 
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Dasa

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It might just be the pagefile, it might be T.R.I.M. as the SSD's moves trash and deleted files, there are many other causes.
I'll keep making mental notes about when things disappear like this, the thing is why not consistent in all deletes? why only with this uninstall, anyway thanks for the replies, seems to be a very complicated subject.


To be honest at recuva struggles with complete file/folder structure recovery.

Its not bad for finding deleted files where folder structure etc doesn't matter but even if it had managed to find the majority of the files in that game directory the chances of it actually working are slim.

You also shouldn't try and recover to the same drive, that's a surefire way to mess things up anyway
I am aware of the recover to different drive thing, I am also aware that just running windows to talk to you guys I risk overwriting things but like I said I expected to see some trace but none was found.

What free software do you recommend?
 

madmatt30

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I'll keep making mental notes about when things disappear like this, the thing is why not consistent in all deletes? why only with this uninstall, anyway thanks for the replies, seems to be a very complicated subject.




I am aware of the recover to different drive thing, I am also aware that just running windows to talk to you guys I risk overwriting things but like I said I expected to see some trace but none was found.

What free software do you recommend?
Disk drill is the best but it's restricted to 500mb filesizes max on the free version.
It also struggles with complete file and folder structure like recuva.
In fact all recovery software does, especially on smaller capacity drives (which most ssd's are likely to be)

But yes I'm with you in that I'd also expect to see at least the folder itself in recuva even if it actually contained nothing inside when recovered.

Maybe uninstalling from within the epic app does do something different to a simple delete or windows app uninstall.
 
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Dasa

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Disk drill is the best but it's restricted to 500mb filesizes max on the free version.
It also struggles with complete file and folder structure like recuva.
In fact all recovery software does, especially on smaller capacity drives (which most ssd's are likely to be)
I remember testing many recovery software several years ago because something important was gone from a memory card, I used trial software from expensive software to anything you could think of, this was long time ago like 10 years but at that time I found that all recovery software are equal, none of them was able to do miracles, recuva is free and has user friendly interface, I guess I am sticking with it

Maybe uninstalling from within the epic app does do something different to a simple delete or windows app uninstall.
I think this is the second time with epic that this happens but my brain is rejecting this idea because I see no reason why would epic do something special like that, their software seems to lean towards simple than complication, it is barely doing the main duties to worry about securely erasing files, I could be wrong, thanks a lot for the help!
 

ex_bubblehead

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SSD's do not work the same as spinning disks. When you delete a file on a spinner all that happens is that some bits in the directory are flipped to indicate that the space occupied by that file is now available to be reused. With an SSD that same delete initiates garbage collection that will immediately remove the cells from access and zero them out, ready for reuse. This behavior is hardcoded into the drive and cannot be disabled. It runs any time the drive is powered up.
 
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Dasa

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SSD's do not work the same as spinning disks. When you delete a file on a spinner all that happens is that some bits in the directory are flipped to indicate that the space occupied by that file is now available to be reused. With an SSD that same delete initiates garbage collection that will immediately remove the cells from access and zero them out, ready for reuse. This behavior is hardcoded into the drive and cannot be disabled. It runs any time the drive is powered up.
Ok but why when I use recovery software I find many things and recovery software says not written over it (good for recovery), how do you explain this?
 

USAFRet

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'Delete and recover' is completely different than 'Uninstall'.

A delete simply marks that space as usable by the OS.
Uninstall actually removes it, along with the relevant registry entries etc.

Even if you were to find the entirety of that 85GB data (and you can't), it will NOT be usable as a game.
The whole folder structure no longer exists. The Registry entries no longer exist. All of that is absolutely required.
 

Dasa

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Did you actually try to recover any of that? You'll find that it's simply random data laying about and there's nothing actually there. Recovery software available to the general public is useless for SSD's

You seem to be correct... :oops: I say seem because I am still surprised, I tried to recover some mp3 files from a game that still show on the SSD but nothing worked, I said to myself this is old, anything could be wrong including needing special software to run it so I did a test and deleted two files (pdf and xls) from C and D and made a recovery scan on recycle bin because on folder nothing comes up, and recuva did recover both files from C and D but files from C opens up as gibberish data, nothing can be read o_O

Wow been living a dream, I am never storing anything important on SSDs again 🤭 thank you for asking this question!


'Delete and recover' is completely different than 'Uninstall'.

A delete simply marks that space as usable by the OS.
Uninstall actually removes it, along with the relevant registry entries etc.

Even if you were to find the entirety of that 85GB data (and you can't), it will NOT be usable as a game.
The whole folder structure no longer exists. The Registry entries no longer exist. All of that is absolutely required.
it worked last time I recovered a game from simple copy/paste backup (that was deleted from HDD) on a new PC that has no registry values for that game, I guess epic fixed that for me, of course am not going to put it in program files and click play, I put it there and clicked install game from client, then it finds the files and I guess it does the rest including full registry setup and so on, honestly I didn't think of your point but it seems to be always taken care of by game platform
 

ex_bubblehead

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You seem to be correct... :oops: I say seem because I am still surprised, I tried to recover some mp3 files from a game that still show on the SSD but nothing worked, I said to myself this is old, anything could be wrong including needing special software to run it so I did a test and deleted two files (pdf and xls) from C and D and made a recovery scan on recycle bin because on folder nothing comes up, and recuva did recover both files from C and D but files from C opens up as gibberish data, nothing can be read o_O

Wow been living a dream, I am never storing anything important on SSDs again 🤭 thank you for asking this question!
This is the way SSD's have always worked. This is also why you keep backups (multiple copies, multiple locations, multiple formats) NEVER rely on recovery software to get anything back.
 
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Dasa

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Some SSD's "maculate"(as in completely wipes it with trash bits) data on deletion as with some SSD's having encryption.
Turns out you are correct, still don't know why no structure was left or even a small trace, like an unusable file, still can't comprehend how fast this process can happen for a large folder and at the same time it took me hours to secure deleted a large folder using erase software, they should utilize this technology to erase files on demand...

This is the way SSD's have always worked. This is also why you keep backups (multiple copies, multiple locations, multiple formats) NEVER rely on recovery software to get anything back.
I am moving everything important out from SSD 😬
 

USAFRet

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You seem to be correct... :oops: I say seem because I am still surprised, I tried to recover some mp3 files from a game that still show on the SSD but nothing worked, I said to myself this is old, anything could be wrong including needing special software to run it so I did a test and deleted two files (pdf and xls) from C and D and made a recovery scan on recycle bin because on folder nothing comes up, and recuva did recover both files from C and D but files from C opens up as gibberish data, nothing can be read o_O

Wow been living a dream, I am never storing anything important on SSDs again 🤭 thank you for asking this question!




it worked last time I recovered a game from simple copy/paste backup (that was deleted from HDD) on a new PC that has no registry values for that game, I guess epic fixed that for me, of course am not going to put it in program files and click play, I put it there and clicked install game from client, then it finds the files and I guess it does the rest including full registry setup and so on, honestly I didn't think of your point but it seems to be always taken care of by game platform
If you recover the game installer from a backup (.exe), then sure...you can install it again.


As far as not storing anything important on solid state...thisis precisely what backups are for.
All my house systems are SSD only.
They all get full drive backups every night.


Even on an HDD, it is HIGHLY unlikely you would have been able to recover 100% of that game and have it playable, in its original folder structure. And still be lacking the reg entries and other behind the scenes items.
 
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